Delhi residents struggle to breathe, as air quality remains in ‘severe’ category

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority has declared a public health emergency across the National Capital Region with pollution levels entering the ‘emergency’ category for the first time since January. Air quality in Delhi has plummeted post-Diwali, which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said was the ‘lowest in five years’


As the thick smog has chocked the national capital on the second consecutive day, Delhiites are forced to breathe toxic air. The pollution level in Delhi is still considered to be in the ‘severe’ category, there is a steep rise in respiratory illnesses reported in the city.

Doctors informed that they are witnessing a sharp rise in people suffering from respiratory infections, breathlessness, and cough-related ailments. Children and the elderly are worst-affected among the patients who are seeking treatment in the outpatient department (OPD).

While speaking to the press, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) said, “The outpatient department (OPD) has seen a rise of 20 per cent over the past two days. Patients are coming with watery eyes, breathing difficulty, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).”

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority has declared a health emergency in Delhi-NCR and the Delhi government has announced holidays to school till Tuesday, November 5.

“We have advised people not to venture out during the morning and evening hours. Kids and the elderly should remain indoors as far as possible. Also, we have advised parents to limit outdoor activities of kids, who are suffering from health conditions. And morning walks should be avoided,” stated Dr Guleria.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi has reached the 500 mark, and is likely to remain in the ‘severe plus’ category for the next two days.